40 weeks came and went on Thursday, March 7. I had been 2 cm and 50% effaced for about two and a half weeks, but nothing was happening. I'd get up expectantly every night to go to the potty, willing my water to break...SOMETHING to happen. Nothing did!
My doctor had planned her spring break trip for the week following March 7. I really preferred to see her at some point in the labor/delivery process (although I knew if it happened quickly in the middle of the night, it would maybe be one of the doctors she shares call with), so I went ahead and reserved an induction spot at 4 a.m. on the morning of March 8. It was the very last spot on that Friday available when I got it the week before, but I fully believed that the baby would come on her own, before then.
Not to be, said she!
(my 40-week belly, complete with swollen fingers)
For some reason, I didn't really want to be induced. I can't really adequately explain it--mainly because the surprise would be taken away? I don't know. That combined with the fear that induction with a second baby would possibly take way longer than naturally going into labor on my own. Even leading up to the very minutes we were getting in the car to leave for my induction appointment at the hospital, I was holding on to hope and belief that I'd go into labor on my own. I expected every second that my water would just break. Apparently it's not something you can will to happen, because man, I tried!
We got to the hospital at 4 a.m. on the nose. When we got there, there was a couple checking in ahead of us, and she was in labor and in pain already. That's when I thought, maybe being induced isn't so bad?
So Jonathan and I are sitting there waiting to check in, and I was going to go ahead and get out my drivers license. Um, it wasn't in my wallet? The hospital is a good 20 minute drive from our house, and I knew it would set us back probably an hour to go home and get it. I started frantically searching through my wallet for some other form of photo ID. With a giggle, I pulled out my Sam's Club membership card and showed it to Jonathan -- "Do you think this is enough to get me in to have the baby?" Ha ha ha.
Thankfully, when I got up to the counter, she didn't need my drivers license. Then Jonathan reminded me that duh, why would anyone show up to the hospital at 40+ weeks pregnant and want to impersonate someone else? That's a pretty complicated impersonation job.
We went back to our room with the sweetest nurse, Mary, who got me all set up. By 5:30, the pitocin was going and the show was getting on the road. I was pretty nervous the contractions would be awful, as I'd heard pitocin contractions could be pretty brutal. I didn't really start feeling anything too awful until 7 a.m., at the nurse's shift change. Luckily, we got another awesome nurse, Kelly. They had both told me repeatedly I could have my epidural whenever I wanted it...it was just this weird decision to make. I was hurting, but it wasn't hurting enough to seem like I needed to go ahead and get a needle in my back? You know? But then on the other hand, if I was going to get an epidural, what was I really proving by waiting to be really hurting? Kelly told me that my doctor would probably come around 8 a.m. and break my water to get things going, and then the contractions might really get intense pretty quickly. When she came back, I told her I'd like to go ahead and get it before my doctor came, and she said she'd already put us on the list just in case. Lucky she had, because we ended up getting skipped, and my doctor came and broke my water before anesthesia made it to us. (I know, the timing is sort of confusing.) Having my water broken didn't hurt thankfully, and I was getting pretty ready for the epidural by the time it came. I was 3 cm when my doctor checked me then.
I told the nurse I'd had terrible heartburn with epidural in my last labor, so she went ahead and gave me something for it, which definitely helped. I was feeling pretty good and mellow, and we had some family come check in around this time, but about an hour later, I was still feeling the contractions, especially in this one concentrated spot on my right side. Kelly checked me then, at 10 a.m., and I was 4 cm. I was pretty bummed--1 cm in 2 hours? My family members' guesses started to seem more plausible (they were guessing things like 5:30 p.m., and even 9:45 p.m.!). Then, the nurse anesthetist came back in to give me another epidural dose to help the pain. This is when things got a little weird.
I got really nauseated and my blood pressure apparently plummeted. Kelly put my flat on my side and gave me something for my blood pressure and got a little worried about the baby's heart rate. This part is a little fuzzy but I did start feeling better, but that same spot kept hurting--I could feel the contractions so strongly in that little spot. Kelly wanted to put in an internal monitor around this time (I don't know what this means), and came back with her charge nurse who wanted to check me before doing the internal monitor. Kelly was like, "you're probably gonna tell me she's hurting so bad because she's like 8 cm or something." The charge nurse just said, "Yep." I was 8 cm! This was around 11 a.m. and it was funny because we'd just told our family that was visiting to go back to the waiting room and it ended up being good timing sending them off and not just into the hall because we were getting ready to have a baby!
They went ahead and called my doctor to come back, who had told them to not let me push until she was standing in the room (I only pushed for 20 minutes with Juliette so she said it wouldn't take much for this baby). The anesthesiologist was checking on me around this time, because I was still hurting pretty bad in that one little spot. He gave me even another dose, which didn't end up working. I told him it was fine because I was about to push the baby out and I could definitely handle it for that much longer.
I was 10 cm around 11:45 (maybe a little earlier?) and they were getting the room set up to push the baby out. The anesthesiologist was sort of funny, he came in to check on me one more time and I was still hurting pretty good and he said in a kinda funny way, "Sorry. I failed you." I knew it would be fine and actually feeling the contractions would help me push.
My doctor and entourage came in and we were ready to go! 3 pushes later at 12:10 p.m., my little 7 lb 7 oz bundle of Molly girl came out! The doctor and nurses were telling us while I was pushing how much hair she had (sorry if that's a gross visual). And wowee, does she ever!
Bear hat, day 2 (I bought it the day we found out she was a girl).
With her birthday buddy Aunt Martha (their birthdays are 26 years and 364 days apart).
Daddy of girls -- get a load of that hair (the baby's, that is)!
I am so thankful to God for a healthy pregnancy, healthy delivery, and healthy baby girl! We are falling in love with our Molly more and more each day.
Welcome to the world, baby girl!